Welcome to the Camtree Digital Library

The Camtree Digital Library publishes peer-reviewed research reports produced by educators from around the world. Library content is freely available to all readers.

Camtree supports educators to reflect on their practice and conduct research to improve learning in their own contexts and organisations, through its website at https://www.camtree.org. Camtree is based at Hughes Hall, University of Cambridge.

Recent Submissions

  • Thumbnail Image
    Item
    Teenage boys’ engagement and disengagement with pleasure reading: a case study
    (2022) Illahibaccus, Shaima
    Background and purpose Teenage boys’ growing disengagement with pleasure reading is an exacerbated educational concern in Mauritius, a multilingual island nation located on the African continent. Aims This study investigated the effectiveness of literature circles and their inherent strategies in enhancing twelfth graders’ perceptions of their reading abilities. Study design or methodology The sociocultural theory of learning (Vygotsky, 1978) and non-natives language acquisition theory (Krashen, 1989), were applied to the unstructured qualitative case study methodology that this study adopted to elicit in-depth understanding of the examined phenomenon from the viewpoints of the observed. Data was gathered from twelve observed and sound recorded literature circles, informants’ reflective diaries and their participation in a focus group discussion. Findings The findings revealed that the informants had enchanting reading experiences with literature circles. The informants demonstrated strong engagement in critical reasoning and intertextuality where they establish multiple connections across literature and their individual experiences with reality during the reading discussions. Reading genres such as local fiction, sport-page, geographic travel magazine and self-help were the informants preferred genres. Literature circles enhanced the latter’s reading desire, text analysis skills and language development, particularly, vocabulary, spelling accuracy, reading fluency and sentence formation. However, the twelve literature circles were insufficient for the informants to grasp grammar precision and avert word for word translation from Mauritian Creole, their native language to English. Implications This study implicates the need to forge new lines of enquiry in regards to how pleasure, playfulness and seriousness can be manifested during teaching and learning processes at school. Implications also include the centrality of having a more sophisticated knowledge base about the impacts, impediments and varying experiences of boys as readers at school and in society. This urges the inclusion of a literary policy which dedicates time slots for pleasure reading in schools.
  • Thumbnail Image
    Item
    How might explicitly increasing the use of dialogic approaches affect whole-group dialogue in virtual teacher professional development session run for an international examination board?
    (2022) West, Rachel
    Background and purpose: This inquiry aims to explore what happens when trainers running virtual professional development (PD) sessions for teachers use a more dialogic approach to whole-group debrief sessions by setting up ground rules and introducing a repertoire of “talk moves”. The continuing professional development sessions focused on a specific curriculum subject and were designed for teachers new to teaching it. The PD sessions covered the curriculum framework, learning objectives and how to use the resources to teach the subject effectively. Aims: The goal was to identify opportunities in the existing PD programme where dialogic approaches could be used and to put this into practice, then to measure how the dialogue had changed using coding of whole-group dialogue based on the T-SEDA analysis framework (T-SEDA Collective 2021) as well as reflection sessions with the trainer and feedback from teachers. Study design or methodology: The intervention involved one trainer, who was running a virtual PD event for teachers in the USA. The PD session covered teaching and assessing a syllabus for teachers who were new to it. The baseline data was gathered from a past virtual event run by the same trainer with different teachers in the USA. Findings: The initial findings indicate that instances of the focus talk categories (build/elaborate, reasoning and reflect on dialogue) increased by using the tools and strategies mentioned, and the average proportion of teacher talk time, as well as average turn length and percentage of the whole group who contributed to each debrief all increased from the first iteration to the second iteration. Conclusions, originality, value and implications: This could have had a positive impact on learning for teachers in this event.
  • Thumbnail Image
    Item
    “I like knowing how it all fits together”: Creating desirable difficulties in the Physics lab.
    (2022) Bridge, Kate
    Background and purpose: To achieve in the classroom and to embed understanding students need to undergo a degree of struggle in the learning process. This paper explores changes to teaching techniques to ensure supported and appropriate levels of struggle takes place in all students in the Physics Classroom. Aims: To explore how a change of technique in planning and teaching can lead to a shift in attitude in students, encouraging them to take greater risks with their learning and lead to possibly greater achievement Study design or methodology: 50 students of mixed ability were taught a Physics topic, over a 6-week period using planning techniques that encouraged greater independence from the students. Findings: Quantitative data showed slight improvement in test-based data. Observation from colleagues and from students showed a shift in attitude toward independence and further pursuit of mastery. Greater ownership encourages students to be more self-reliant whilst learning. Implications for practice: Planning sequences of learning should be based around skills acquired rather than content. Undergoing research / deliberate practice enables teachers to refine their craft. Student independence and struggle can help students feel more confident in their learning approach.
  • Thumbnail Image
    Item
    Assessing engagement with construction-based, structured-play activities designed for the teaching and learning of the language of metacognition in a primary Pupil Referral Unit
    (2022) Linale, Jamie
    Background and purpose: I conducted a case study at a primary pupil-referral-unit (PRU), exploring the use of construction-based, structured-play activities for the teaching and learning of the language of metacognition (LoM). Metacognition is important for developing independent learners and, in the context of a PRU, for both assisting students in obtaining academic outcomes similar to their mainstream counterparts and facilitating reintegration into mainstream settings. Aims: Engagement is a necessary pre-requisite for teaching and learning to occur, and in this report, I explore primary-PRU students’ engagement with the activities to determine if the activities are sufficiently engaging such that they can unfold in a manner consistent with their design. Study design or methodology: Three students at a primary PRU in the South-East of England participated in eight sessions of two construction-based, structured-play activities; both activities included ‘metacognition resources’ of my own design, which were intended to introduce students to the LoM. To explore engagement with these activities, context-specific indicators were obtained from observation of video and audio data, and a ‘Leuven-inspired’ scale of engagement, ranging from 1 (very low) to 5 (very high) was constructed and used to monitor engagement throughout the sessions. Findings: Considering the context and the archetypal PRU student, the activities were generally engaging. I found students to be sufficiently engaged such that the activities could unfold in a manner consistent with their design. The build process was, however, generally more engaging than the ‘metacognition elements’ of the activities. Implications for practice: The findings suggest that construction-based, structured play and the metacognition resources offer a viable means to engage students with metacognition. Such activities may provide a way to help students in PRUs develop independency in learning, facilitate their reintegration into mainstream settings, and improve their academic outcomes.
  • Thumbnail Image
    Item
    Developing meaningful child-led class discussions: centring children in classroom dialogue to motivate learning and encourage oracy development
    (2022) Connolly, Liam
    Background and purpose: This inquiry was designed to move away from a teacher-led classroom discussion model and to centre the children, allowing them the opportunity to develop their oracy and dialogue skills. Aims: The aim of this inquiry was to accentuate such dialogue while embedding purposeful child- led learning in different subject areas. Self-assessment was carried out following each discussion for the children to metacognitively engage with the development of their skills and the impact of oracy across their learning. Study design or methodology: I carried out this action research project with my year 3 class. Each week, I showed the children a statement or question. I sat and observed without participating. The pre-established talk rules and teacher-created sentence stems applied. The whole class then completed a self-assessment through further discussion. Findings: The children leading their discussions with certain scaffolds made the outcomes purposeful and the children were motivated to carry implications of the discussions to their learning. The talk was mostly meaningful and diplomatically-organised. In the context of the child- led discussion, some individual children who previously were less vocal in classroom talk became talk leaders, while others chose to participate more subtly. The children were more likely to respond to each other than when the discussion was teacher-led and used the sentence stems more robustly. Conclusions, originality, value and implications: The inquiry helped me as a practitioner to shift from a tightly-managed, adult-led talk model to one that empowers children to respond to and share ideas with one another and then apply those ideas to different areas of learning. This latter point is one I have so far seen in limited amounts, but could be developed further with carefully chosen talk stimuli and the continued embedding of child-led learning. Moving forward, I aim to embed this child-led discussion seamlessly within classroom learning.

Communities in Camtree Digital Library

Select a community to browse its collections.

Now showing 1 - 2 of 2